Act I

SCENE I.An Apartment in the Palace.

Enter Cleon Strato Lysippus, and Diphilus.

Cleon. The rest are making ready, sir.

Lys. So let them; There’s time enough.

Diph. You are the brother to the king, my lord; We’ll take your word.

Lys. Strato, thou hast some skill in poetry: What think’st thou of the masque? Will it be well?

Strat. As well as masque can be.

Lys. As masque can be?

Strat. Yes; they must commend their king, and speak in praise
Of the assembly; bless the bride and bridegroom
In person of some god. They are tied to rules
Of flattery.

Cle. See, good my lord, who is return’d!

Enter Melantius.

Lys. Noble Melantius! the land, by me,
Welcomes thy virtues home to Rhodes.
Thou, that with blood abroad buy’st us our peace!
The breath of kings is like the breath of gods;
My brother wish’d thee here, and thou art here.
He will be too kind, and weary thee
With often welcomes. But the time doth give thee
A welcome above his, or all the world’s.

Mel. My lord, my thanks; but these scratch’d limbs of mine
Have spoke my love and truth unto my friends,
More than my tongue e’er could. My mind’s the same
It ever was to you: Where I find worth,
I love the keeper till he let it go,
And then I follow it.

Diph. Hail, worthy brother!
He, that rejoices not at your return
In safety, is mine enemy for ever.

Mel. I thank thee, Diphilus. But thou art faulty;
I sent for thee to exercise thine arms
With me at Patria: Thou camest not, Diphilus;
’Twas ill.

Diph. My noble brother, my excuse
Is my king’s strict command; which you, my lord,
Can witness with me.

Lys. ’Tis true, Melantius;
He might not come, till the solemnity
Of this great match was past.

Diph. Have you heard of it?

Mel. Yes. I have given cause to those that envy
My deeds abroad, to call me gamesome:
I have no other business here at Rhodes.

Lys. We have a masque to-night, and you must tread
A soldier’s measure.

Mel. These soft and silken wars are not for me:
The music must be shrill, and all confused,
That stirs my blood; and then I dance with arms.
But is Amintor wed?

Diph. This day.

Mel. All joys upon him! for he is my friend.
Wonder not that I call a man so young my friend:
His worth is great; valiant he is, and temperate;
And one that never thinks his life his own,
If his friend need it. When he was a boy,
As oft as I returned (as, without boast,
I brought home conquest) he would gaze upon me,
And view me round, to find in what one limb
The virtue lay to do those things he heard.
Then would he wish

  By PanEris using Melati.

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